25 November, 2012

생일 축하! (Happy Birthday!) A Year of Watching K-Drama

If you had told me a year ago that I would have watched so many K-dramas, started a blog about them, bought more K-pop than I should have, started a Twitter account, and also made friends on Twitter, I might have called you bonkers...but all of that in fact did happen. So to celebrate this crazy, wonderful, silly, lovely year, I figured I should probably make some kind of top 10 favourites list or something. And they really are just my favourites, not necessarily the best of the best, but my favourites. And today is actually the anniversary of starting to watch My Name is Kim Samsoon! So without further ado:

1. Secret Garden

This drama will forever hold a special place in my heart. Yeah, I know that it has a few issues, but it has Binnie!!! (he comes home soon!!!! *jumps up and down for joy*) I think this is also the drama that really, really got me into K-pop, but the details are fuzzy now. My sister and I also watched it (well I was re-watching it) over Skype screenshare. It was a blast! And really who wouldn't want to watch Hyun Bin play a most convincing woman.

2. The Princess' Man

Park Shi Hoo!!! Park Shi Hoo!!! Park Shi Hoo!!! *cough* I mean what a beautiful drama - it really was. It had a gorgeous score, beautiful cinematography, a lovely-heartbreaking-breathtaking story, and some great, great acting. And Moon Chae Won and Park Shi Hoo had sizzling chemistry.

3. The King 2 Hearts

Um, Seung Gi kind of stole the show on this one. While I have my beefs with the show (sloppy writing, unearned ending, awful villain, etc.), it really is one that warms my heart, and makes me want to jump up and down for the good parts, cry with the sad parts, and swoon at the lovely chemistry all around. It was also one of the best K-drama families I have ever seen. And Eun Shi Kyung - wow, Jo Jung Suk - wow, is all I can say.

4. Queen In Hyun's Man

This was definitely a cracktastic-runaway hit for me this year. It is also the only K-drama where I have watched more than snippets raw. Actually bustered and I watched episode 19 together raw. It was a memorable experience. I fell in love with Kim Boong Do, and the story, and just the general loveliness. It also the drama that finally convinced bustered and I to make this blog (we'd been playing around with the idea for a while). And it was super fun to watch the real-life love story of Ji Hyun Woo and Yoo In Ah - oh what lovely drama! *sigh* I want to finish re-watching this with my sister.

5. Flower Boy Ramyun Shop

Seriously one of my favourite dramas ever. It was lovurly, oh so lovurly. Funny, zany, sexy, swoony, goofy, and just all round awesome. I am really glad that tvN decided to do the Flower Boys series (I still need to finish Shut Up: Flower Boy Band - it would probably be on this list if I had). One of my all time favourite sexy scenes is the one where they're making kimchi, and then Cha Chi Soo comes and licks off the spice from her fingers it makes me swoon majorly every time I watch it. And really, I just love all the Flower Boys - especially Bawool.

6. City Hunter

I just love this drama. Not just because of Lee Min Hotte I promise! It also has one of the best soundtracks ever! I love the premise of a tortured revenge plot with some comedy and romance thrown in. It might not be the darkest or most perfect revenge drama ever, but it holds a special place in my heart. And Kim Sang Joon - I totally have an ajhussi crush on him.

7. My Girlfriend is a Gumiho

I think I laughed out loud so much in this drama, and it's so stinkin' cute and adorable! Lee Seung Gi and Shin Min Ah are almost so cute it's unbearable! And really, this drama was just so good, and fun, and sad, and I ❤ it so much! And hotte gumiho hunter *swoon* a.k.a. No Min Woo - need I say more?

8. Answer Me 1997

Definitely one of the best dramas as far as editing, writing, execution go, and to boot it had plenty of heart. I was also incredibly impressed by the idol acting, and the general tone of the drama. It just hit the nail right on the head - I also pretty sure that we're all still swooning over Yoon Yoon Jae - Seo In Guk is so adorably swoonworthy.

9. You're Beautiful

Yay for silly and fun idol dramas and piggy bunnies! It was just a heartfelt, lovely romp through the crazy world of idols and heartbreaks. Probably more than anything, it made me a Jang Geun Suk fan for life - oh his swoony voice (and all his absolutely ridiculous faces). Yeah, this drama has plenty of flaws, but it's heart more than makes up for it for me.

10. Protect the Boss

I am so glad that this drama introduced me to Ji Sung! It was just so hilariously fabulous! And Jaejoong and Ji Sung were HILARIOUS as the fighting cousins - I think they might have been my favourite pairing in the drama. I dunno, I just luff this drama - it's light, it's got heart, and it's just super funny.

If I had already finished Gaksital by the time this post was ready, it would be on this list for sure. Oh the lovely-beautiful-heartbreaking Kang To!

Honorable mention: Vampire Prosecutor, The Snow Queen, and Sungkyunkwan Scandal. And for all the other dramas I've watched, you are welcome to check out the ratings page. And for some dramas I really want to watch:

Friend, Our Legend
Conspiracy in the Court
Time Between Dog and Wolf
Tree with Deep Roots
Queen Insoo
Dal Ja's Spring
49 Days
Shining Inheritance
Queen Seon Deok
The Return of Ijimae
The Devil
Baker King, Kim Tak Goo
High Kick

and a host of others.

I also need to start on the J-drama/Taiwanese/Chinese drama circuit...any suggestions? Or any K-drama suggestions of your favourites would be lovely as well!

Here's to another year of watching drama - well really, hopefully many more years!

◀ A Loss of Faith: A Review        dewaanifordrama's playlist #5: BIGBANG [concert] edition ▶


  1. Hana Yori Dango (Boys Over Flowers) is a good J-Drama I've heard. All of the great and none of the ridiculousness/awful drama tropes of the Korean version.

  2. If you love Park Shi Hoo (a nd who doesn't?), you should watch Prosecutor Princess.

    For Taiwanese Dramas, you should watch Drunken to Love You (even thought the last couple of episodes start to drag; love this couple), Autumn Concerto (if you want to cry buckets in the middle only to be rewarded at the end), and Sunny Happiness. I also LOVE Mars, but some people find it too old or too creaky.

    I would also recommend the j-drama Rich Man, Poor Woman. Oguri Shun (yes, from Hani Kimi, but all grown up with much better hair) is really good in this.

    I am sigining this "anonymous" only because I do not have any of your other options (or don't know if I do) not because I am embarassed about the list. Who can go wrong when starting with PSH?

    1. Thanks for the recommendations!!! I have actually seen Prosecutor Princess - and of course I LOVED it!!! Park Shi Hoo *swoon*.

      Thanks for all the other recommendations, I will have to check those out!

      I think if you don't have any other options/aren't sure, you can just sign with a name for the Name/url option.

    2. I am just trying this out to see if the name/URL thing works. I would also recommend Miss Rose, a Taiwanese drama that is airing now. People either love (with a passion) this show or they can't see what the fuss is about because of its fairly liesurely pace, frustratingly wimpy heroine, etc. However, I love every character except for the heroine (who could be great but isn't) and the villain people I am supposed to not like. I even like the second male lead (a lot0 even though I don't think he deserves to gett he heroine back.

    3. Thanks! I will have to add that to the "must watch" list I have floating around ^^~

    4. I concur with Drunken To Love You and Autumn Concerto. AC remains one of my favorite TW dramas, along with Fated to Love You (also dragged out a bit in the latter 1/3, but the first 1/2, SOSO good); Drunken to Love you (same series as "Fated") and the recent "In Time With You" (very good).
      I literally cried buckets of tears with AC. So beautifully shot; excellent soundtrack (especially if you understand Mandarin/Chinese). the only flaw was (sigh) Vanness Wu's acting, which thankfully got much better as the series went on. Anyway he looked better there than anywhere else :)
      I like Mike He, so Sunny Happiness was good.

      I don't watch JDramas.

    5. Thanks for the recommendations! I will have to add those to the ever increasingly long "to watch list"

    6. if I had to watch 3 I'd probably watch AC, In Time With You and Fated to Love You

  3. Happy Birthday!!! And best wishes for long, long, addicted years of drama-watching. :D
    That's an awesome "To Watch" list. Good luck and I will push my favorite drama there, Damo. Damo, damo, damo!!!

    1. Thank you! ^^~ Your post is what helped me decide to add it to my "to watch list" - and I most certainly will watch it!!!

  4. I loved most of the dramas on your list! And what a fantastic idea, to watch with someone over skype screenshare!! I think that's just brilliant, and so much fun!! :)

    1. It really was fun to watch with screenshare ^^~

  5. I wholeheartedly agree with 7 out of 10 of these (2 I didn't watch and 1 I didn't finish.) Congratulations on one year of drama watching!

    1. Thank you! Oh, all the dramas I haven't finished...

  6. I think i have watched all of the above except 7 and 10

    My favorites
    Alone in Love - recommended by Joonni-ssi I think, so subtle and yet so powerful
    Phoenix - total makjang. LSJ was really good
    Dong Yi - fell in love with Han HyoJoo and Ji JinHee, got me started on historical
    Painter of the Wind - MGY was sosososo good and PSY got better towards the end. If you're into visuals - the paintings were excellent too, I always wondered how the heck did they make a copy of the originals in such a short time
    Winter's Sonata - will forever hold a special place in my heart as my 2nd drama (1st - You're Beautiful); shed >1L tears. Don't think any drama can replicate it. Wonderful soundtrack.
    Sorry, I Love You (MiSa) - the angst! So JiSub was so good!
    SKKS - i think i like Yoo AhIn and Song JoongKi more than the OTP haha!

    Wanna watch list
    Damo - have yet to get a Chinese subbed (instead of dubbed) version - highly recommended courtesy of Joonni
    Jumong - haven't found it yet...
    TWTWB - one day, one day
    Shining Inheritance - only for Bae SooBin haha!

    Have you started movies yet?

    1. I LOVE SKKS so much!!! And some of the ones you mentioned are definitely on my "to watch" list. Damo is pretty high up on the "to watch" list too. TWTWB is FABULOUS!!! It definitely has it's flaws, but I am thoroughly addicted.

      I have watched some films, but I have yet to write about them here...I am working on that though ^^

    2. oooo... i look forward to your film reviews! most of the films I watched and enjoyed are somewhat "medically" related - Always/Only You, Bandage (recent), Closer to Heaven, Pacemaker, Eraser in My Head..

      I'm sure I have watched tons of great movies but forgot all their names!!!!!!!

    3. I've only seen some. I have seen Always/Only You and I quite liked it, and some others. Hopefully in the next little bit we will start putting up our film ratings ^^

    4. I'm going to butt in here. ^^ I would love to see "Alone in Love" and "Sorry I Love You".

      On the film note, I watched my first Korean film last year but haven't written about it yet (not that it didn't totally scar me...), and then I recently watched a 60s Korean film and three Im Kwon-taek productions from the 90s. So yes, there will be film reviews sometime soon. Korean cinema has a lot of interesting stuff to offer. ^^

  7. @b94ca233020326aa689c59b5dedc9426:disqus We have our film ratings page up now ^^ http://www.samsoondowntherabbithole.com/p/film-ratings.html